Despite the age of technology, storytelling remains an important part of human life whether through the Internet, photographs, drawings, movies, magazines and newspapers, comics, or books. As an Arts in Medicine volunteer, Eleanor Sommer provides the gift of storytelling and listening to adults and children at the bedside in the hospital setting. Whether weaving a story from scratch, playing with words to make a poem, or just sitting back and listening to a patient’s story unfold, everyone benefits from the magic of storytelling and listening. Children especially resonate with the joy of hearing a story unfold or the excitement and satisfaction of creating their own.
Eleanor has been part of the Arts in Medicine program since 1994 and was an artist-in-residence for seven years. She resigned in 2001 to take a job in publishing—her original career path. Subsequently, she earned a master’s of Interdisciplinary Ecology at the University of Florida and shortly afterward invited to join the staff of the Center for Arts in Medicine, where she is an adjunct lecturer and the graduate programs advisor.
When not editing, writing, or storytelling and listening, she enjoys studying herbs, gardening, reading, and romping around acreage with her husband and their super puppy, a 100-pound German shepherd-yellow Lab mix.